Monday, August 13, 2012

Dyslexia No Bar to Sports Success

Dr. Yellin is an avid fan of the New York Jets and has been since he was a kid.

So, it was with a good deal of interest that we noted a recent article in New Jersey's Star Ledger that revealed that both Jets head coach Rex Ryan and new team addition Tim Tebow each struggle with dyslexia, a language-based learning disability. The article notes that the coach and quarterback learned about their dyslexia at very different points in their lives. Tebow has a family history of dyslexia and both his father and brother have the same learning difficulty. Researchers know that there is a genetic predisposition to dyslexia in some families. Tebow learned about his dyslexia when he was in elementary school and was home-schooled through high school, moving on to the University of Florida.

Coach Ryan did not discover that he had dyslexia until he was in his forties but was able to rely upon his other areas of strength to earn his college and masters degrees in physical education.

Whatever the fortunes of the Jets this season, young people with dyslexia should be aware that there are numerous successful athletes with this learning disorder and, in fact, some experts believe that the ways that individuals with dyslexia need to adapt to read effectively can be helpful to them in a number of future careers, including business and the arts. Read a longer discussion of this phenomenon.

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